Germany cutting its military budget may pose a threat to NATO, German Free Democratic Party member Bijan Djir-Sarai was quoted by the Bild magazine as saying.
“Germany has become a security risk for the entire alliance. Those who act unreliably and contrary to [bilateral] agreements endanger NATO’s capabilities. It was high time for Germany to give up this embarrassing behaviour and invest more in its own security”, Djir-Sarai underlined.
His remarks came after US President Donald Trump stressed that even though he had “a great feeling for Germany”, the country is “not paying what they should be paying”.
“We're paying for a big proportion of NATO, which is basically protecting Europe. They’re paying close to 1 per cent”, Trump said, in a nod to Germany’s plans to spend about 1.25 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on the alliance in the next five years.
Berlin’s failure to meet the alliance’s agreement to spend two per cent of its GDP on defence has emerged as a source of tension between Germany and the US.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to boost the country’s military spending up to 1.5 per cent of its GDP by 2023.
Washington, which according to NATO's statistics, spends 3.6 per cent of its GDP on the alliance, insists that its partners should reach the agreed guidelines by 2024 at the latest. US President Donald Trump has long bemoaned the situation within the alliance, with only five of the 28 members following the two per cent guideline